Northern California well represented at UFC 155

Northern California well represented at UFC 155
December 27, 2012, 8:30 pm
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Nitesh Dutt

Editor’s Note: UFC 155 prelims begin at 3:30 p.m. PT and the Pay-Per-View begins at 7:00 p.m. PT.

At the end of every year the world of MMA anxiously awaits the UFC’s annual final event. This year is no different.

The world’s top promotion has put together another stellar end of the year card, which is built around a title match for the heavyweight title. This year, Northern California has taken center stage.

San Francisco’s Chris Cariaso takes on John Moraga in a flyweight bout that will air live on Facebook. It will be Cariaso’s second bout at 125-pounds and he will be taking on a much hyped Moraga, who is fighting for the second time in the UFC. Cariaso is riding a three-fight win streak and is inching closer to a title shot.

A decisive win over Moraga could be the push that Cariaso needs to get into title contention.

Another Nor Cal fighter on the Facebook prelims is heavyweight Todd Duffee who is making his UFC return after a 2-1/2 year hiatus. After going 1-1 in the UFC, Duffee was surprisingly released in September 2010. He has gone 1-1 since, losing to Alistair Overeem at Dyanmite! 2010 and then defeating Neil Grove at SFL 2 in April of this year.

Duffee, who fights out of AKA in San Jose, makes his return against Phil De Fries, who is 2-1 in the UFC. Duffee was impressive in his two bouts within the UFC, but has a tough road ahead to reach contention level, as the heavyweight division has gotten much deeper.

One of the fighter’s Duffee must leap over is AKA teammate and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez. Cain, who lost his title last November, is taking on the man who beat him. His rematch against Junior dos Santos has been in the making since the two first met last year.

JDS won the first meeting with an impressive KO in just 64 seconds of the first-round. Cain promises that this bout will end in KO, but it’ll be a victory for him. In the words of his AKA teammates, Velasquez has reached another level of focus in his preparation for his title fight.

Cain is coming off a convincing first-round TKO victory over “Bigfoot” Antonio Silva at UFC 146. In just 3:36, Velasquez took down Bigfoot and left him a bloody mess when all was said and done. It was a statement win for Cain and earned him a shot at redemption.

There has been little trash talk between the two, but there is a sense of a rivalry brewing. It all comes to an end this Saturday night.

Nitesh Dutt is a production assistant at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @NiteshDutt.

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